Rude awakenings...

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  1. #1
    Registered User Katsuya's Avatar
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    Default Rude awakenings...

    Pokémon Targetted: Mareep
    Character Total: 10,447

    “Kat, Kat! Wake up! Kat! Kaaaaaaat! Hey!”

    “OW! Get off me!”

    Katsuya bolted up in his bed, swinging an arm out and catching his brother in the process. The thud of his brother hitting the floor was, to Katsuya, a good way of getting his own back for the rude awakening. Ever since he had returned home, he had been pounced upon a few too many times in the morning, and it almost always ended the same way – with his brother His eyes were slow to open as he blindly patted around the side of his bed, looking for the nearby desk. Once he found the desk, he then had to find his glasses, but before any of that could happen, he found an arm being wrapped around his throat.

    “Stupid! Don’t throw me off the bed like that! I’m gonna make you tap out now!”

    Being choked out by a sleeper hold wasn’t on Kat’s agenda for the day. He found his glasses as his brother’s arm squeezed across his throat, but Katsuya wasn’t overly worried: his brother wasn’t strong enough to actually restrict his breathing. With one hand holding his glasses, Kat grabbed his brother’s arm with his free hand, before ripping it away, throwing his brother down on to the bed. A well placed elbow to the side winded his brother but didn’t really hurt him, and with that the “fight” was over. Kat sighed and shook his head with disdain before he put his glasses on, then looked down at his brother, curled up on the bed and gasping for air. Truth be told, Sean wasn’t too bad, and he knew that they loved each other really. They just had an odd way of showing it, whether that be by fighting or name-calling (or, in Sean’s case, pointing out the ridiculousness of Katsuya’s name). Kat chuckled to himself as he patted his brother on the back, then got up to start getting dressed for the day. He had a busy schedule of training with Kaze to get through, and that would take up most of the morning and afternoon; in some ways, he was thankful for his brother waking him up so early, because it might he had a bit of a head start.

    “F-fine, I won’t tell you about Magby then...”

    “How many times do I have to tell you, his name is Kaze, not M—wait, what? Tell me what about him?”

    Kat had been searching for a t-shirt on when his brother had spoken, and had stopped speaking with one half on, half off – which caused Sean to laugh when he saw the state of his brother. Kat pulled the t-shirt down quickly, and the look of rage on his face caused Sean to quickly stop laughing and start giving answers.

    “W-well, and please don’t get mad at me, b-b-but I...I was kinda playing outside with him earlier, and I came back inside for only a second and when I came back out...he was...gone.”

    “What!? You idiot! He’s only a baby Pokémon and you left him on his own? He could have gone anywhere, anyone could have taken him – I can’t believe this! When did you notice he was gone?”

    “Just now, I swear, honest Kat, he’s still gonna be nearby I bet, but I needed to let you know, please don’t be mad!”

    Kat panicked for a second, unsure what to do next. A large part of him wanted to hit Sean there and then, but he figured that hitting an eight year old wasn’t about to get his Pokémon back. With that in mind, he grabbed the first pair of shorts that were available to him, jumped in to them, and bounded out of his room and down the stairs. He thought he heard his mother shouting at him not to run, but that wasn’t an option right now; Kat scrambled to find some shoes, eventually pulling out two mismatched ones – a bright red pair of Vans for his left foot, and a standard pair of white trainers for his right. Grabbing Kaze’s Poké Ball that had been left by the front door, Katsuya saw a glimpse of how ridiculous he looked in the mirror opposite him: his hair was suffering from a serious case of “bed-head” and was sticking up in various spots, showing where the red, purple and copper highlights were mixed in. A green t-shirt mixed in with yellow shorts (that had mud on them from when he had last worn them) and finally the shoes topped it all off – but, given the nature of what he had just been told, style was well and truly out of the window right now. Kat bolted out of the house and started running along the path, but quickly stopped, realising that he had no idea where to go.

    “Kaze! Kaze, where are you?” Kat’s shouts were to no avail: there was no sound or sight of his Pokémon anywhere. He had to think fast about where to look next. His house was at the bottom of a hill, which lead up to a much bigger route with many more turns going each and every way – if Kaze had gone up there, then Kat guessed that he was in serious trouble. On the other hand, further downhill from Kaze’s house was a field that contained a few wild Pokémon, and was often a place where local trainers gathered to catch some new members for their team, to battle, or to simply discuss tactics and events with others. Some of the younger kids, who weren’t old enough to have their own Pokémon, would gather there too. That was where he had battled with Kaze for the first time the day before. He figured that if his Pokémon was going to go anywhere, then it would probably be there.

    “Kat! Up here!” Kat looked up to see his brother sticking his head out of his bedroom window. “I just messaged Topher, he said that he saw a Magby walking by itself down by his house! I bet it’s Kaze!”

    Kat’s suspicions were correct, then – if it were Kaze, of course. Topher was one of his brother’s annoying friends, who lived right next to the field in question. If Kaze were walking down there, then he had to be heading towards the field. Kat looked up and smiled at his brother, giving him a thumb up as a sign of appreciation. The kid was alright for some things, after all. Kat then ran off towards the field, his mind still racing as he did so. What worried him was the fact that if Kaze did go on to the field on his own, that another trainer might try and capture him without realising that he was already owned. Kaze might not be able to fight back, too, as he might still be too tired from the battles he had the day before. Kat’s speed increased as he pumped his legs hard, desperate to try and find his Pokémon. His breathing rapidly sped up as he gritted his teeth, as he began to feel the effects of his exertion so early after waking up. His muscles cramped, but still he went on, willing himself on under his breath.

    “I’m not gonna let you down, Kaze...I’m not gonna let you down...”

    Within another minute or so, he had reached the entrance to the field. Panting and sweating, Kat tried to quickly scan the field for sight of his Pokémon, but found trouble focusing given the state he was in. He paused and took a few deep breaths, and within a few moments he was feeling much better. The field was surprisingly quiet; there were no other trainers around, and apart from a couple of Starly flying overhead, there didn’t seem to be any Pokémon either. It was, however, still early in the morning, and he figured that he had just got lucky. Still, there was no sight of Kaze, and Kat began to wonder if he really had been lucky.

    His eye suddenly caught sight of something. A flicker in some of the grass – was it a flame? Kat clambered along a knoll and found a rock to stand on, giving him a better vantage point at where he was looking. Then he saw the familiar red lumps poking through the grass, and the black ring around the neck: it was definitely a Magby, that much couldn’t be doubted.

    “KAZE! Over here, buddy!” Kat called out in the direction of the Pokémon, and waited a second to see if it would react. The Magby’s head popped up, looked over at Kat on the rock, and then bounded up and down happily, waving at Kat. Kat gave a huge sigh of relief and beckoned to Kaze to come over to him, aware that his Pokémon was too far away to recall via the Poké Ball. He watched as Kaze trundled through the wild grass towards him – when suddenly, Kaze disappeared in to the grass. Just as quickly, he popped back up and started running again, as Kat chuckled a little at his buddy’s fall; he knew that he would be okay, so he didn’t feel too bad. He looked at Kaze again – just in time to see him get sent flying through the grass.

    “Hey! What’s going on!?”

    Kaze pushed himself up as Kat tried to spot what exactly had just happened...and what had had caused it to happen. He got his answer when he saw a very angry looking Mareep coming out of the grass after Kaze, having hit him with a Tackle. Unbeknownst to Kat was the fact that Kaze had stood – and tripped – over the Mareep’s tail in the grass, causing it to have a very rude awakening. To Kat, it just looked like an unprovoked attack, and one that he wasn’t going to stand for.

    “Kaze, come on, get up buddy, we’re going to show this Mareep we’re not pushovers! Hit it with Flamethrower!” Kat jumped off the rock, flying through the air and landing on the ground a few feet away from his Pokémon. He could have just recalled him, but he had seen red now and wanted to get something out of this situation. Kaze launched a huge burst of red-hot flames from his mouth, aiming at the Mareep; the Wool Pokémon was obviously caught off guard by the retaliation, and as it tried to move out of the way, it caught the brunt of the flames in its side. Slightly scorched, the Mareep struggled to its feet, as sparks started to fly around its body.

    “Gah...that’s...erm...that’s Charge, isn’t it? Kaze, we have to end this one quickly, if he hits you with an electric attack now we could be in serious trouble! We have to do something now to try and end this – how about Smog? Yeah, let’s do that!”

    Kaze nodded at his trainer, and blew out a plume of dark grey gas towards Mareep. Mareep stopped charging as it was hit by the gas, being knocked over once again. This time, however, it wasn’t getting up as quickly – and Katsuya realised that now was a real chance to go for a capture. He felt around in the pocket of his shorts, hoping to find a Poké Ball ; for a moment, it looked like he very well might have run out of luck. Then, right at the very bottom of his pocket, he felt the unmistakeable shape of a Poké Ball, and pulled it out with vigour.

    “Mareep, you’re mine!” Kat put some serious spin on the ball as he threw it towards the Mareep. Pokémon and Poké Ball connected, and the ball opened to envelop Mareep in a red light. Mareep was drawn in to the ball, as Katsuya and Kaze both watched it intently, the wriggling continued for what seemed like an age...

    --Story complete and ready for grading :)--
    Last edited by Katsuya; 15th April 2010 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #2
    'Lax in lederhosen Elrond 2.0's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rude awakenings...

    I was in a picky mood today. Don’t worry, though, your writing was pretty good.

    Introduction:

    Having a story start with a character being rudely awoken is a bit cliché, but I found it interesting that you connected that scenario to a plot point later on (Magby waking Mareep by accident). One thing your introduction lacked was a description of the main character(s). While it’s not good to overdo such descriptions, I would’ve liked to know at least a little about Katsuya’s appearance, and perhaps his brother’s as well. Other information that might’ve been pertinent after the beginning “fight” scene had concluded are Katsuya’s relative age and the fact that he was a beginning trainer (since that wasn’t clear until much later on). I really haven’t got a whole lot else to say here, so I’ll move on.

    Plot:

    The plot of this story was pretty basic. It’s only a small departure from the common “Trainer goes out looking for a Pokemon and finds it” stories that pop up quite often in the URPG - in your case, the only real difference was that your main character already owned the Pokemon. As I said before, I did like how you turned the “rude awakenings” into a cool plot twist, but the harder Pokemon will require more intricate plotlines. For example, what if Magby had been accidentally captured by another trainer? You opened up the possibility for yourself through Kat‘s thoughts, and I think it might’ve been an intriguing twist on a somewhat hackneyed story. However, I’m not just gonna sit around and bash you for the plot of this story, because I, like most others, am guilty of having written fairly basic stories when I first started, and to be perfectly honest, the easier Pokemon don’t really require hugely creative plots. Definitely try to be as original as possible when you write, though. You can do pretty much ANYTHING in a URPG story, as long as it’s Pokemon-related: look at the examples stickied here on Bulbagarden or head over to PE2K to check out some of the longer stories for inspiration.

    Detail/Description:

    It’s always possible to describe the events in a story more, through more vivid adjectives and better descriptive verbs. The main point I’d like to make for your story is that you didn’t really describe all five senses. Doing so is vital to a story because it makes the story seem so much more realistic when you do so. For example, you could’ve described how Magby’s Smog attack smelled, or how the tall grass felt against Kat’s legs as he ran through it. On top of this, I do have one very specific point I’d like to make:

    His eyes were slow to open as he blindly patted around the side of his bed, looking for the nearby desk.

    My issue in this sentence has to do with the phrase, “His eyes were slow to open.” This phrase communicates a very obvious idea, but it does so blandly. For one thing, you used what is called the “passive voice,” which means that the subject of the sentence (Kat’s eyes) were the recipient of an action (in this case, the person doing the action, though not mentioned, is obviously Kat himself). Excessive use of the passive voice slows down action and often amounts to an overuse of the verb “to be.”
    Generally in literature, the “active” voice is encouraged. That means the subject of the sentence is the one doing the action. Two ways that you could’ve put this sentence into the active voice include:

    He slowly opened his eyes.

    -or-

    His eyes slowly opened.
    It’s also good to note that the adverb “slowly” would be unnecessary if I used the much more vivid, interesting verb “creaked open” instead of just “opened.” Always search for more descriptive verbs like that. Anyway, moving along.

    Grammar/Spelling:

    I couldn’t spot any major spelling errors, but I did find some places where a simple proofread would have helped you. Specifically:

    Ever since he had returned home, he had been pounced upon a few too many times in the morning, and it almost always ended the same way – with his brother

    He had a busy schedule of training with Kaze to get through, and that would take up most of the morning and afternoon; in some ways, he was thankful for his brother waking him up so early, because it might he had a bit of a head start.
    It seems like you may have accidentally deleted the end of the first sentence, while the last part of the second sentence: “because it might he had a bit of a head start,” also seems to have had something deleted/forgotten between ‘might’ and ‘he.’ Now, onto more pressing matters:

    Once he found the desk, he then had to find his glasses, but before any of that could happen, he found an arm being wrapped around his throat.
    This is a really awkward run-on sentence. First of all, the inclusion of “then” in the second clause sounds odd. Secondly, you should have replaced the second comma with a period to break up the sentence. Then, you could have changed the conjunction “but” into a better transition - perhaps “however” would have been a less awkward option. Finally, you used the verb “to find” three times in quick succession. Try not to be so redundant in the future.

    …a bright red pair of Vans for his left foot, and a standard pair of white trainers for his right.
    It should be noted that since a ‘pair’ means a group of two, you accidentally had Kat take out four sneakers (two pairs), not two mismatched sneakers. I found it kind of humorous.

    Unbeknownst to Kat was the fact that Kaze had stood – and tripped – over the Mareep’s tail in the grass, causing it to have a very rude awakening.
    This sentence was also awkward because of the last clause, “causing it to have a rude awakening.” It might have sounded better if you had said, “rudely awakening the Pokemon,” or something of the sort.

    Length:

    No problem here.

    Battle:

    This battle was really short. In the URPG, we usually prefer that battles are longer and not so one-sided. In other words, it shouldn’t be obvious that one Pokemon is dominating the other. Remember, Magby is a baby Pokemon, so even a strong attack like Flamethrower wouldn’t do quite so much damage (actually, Flamethrower wouldn’t even 2HKO in a real URPG battle). Mareep really should’ve had more chances to attack, and Magby should’ve used a few more attacks as well.

    Some graders hold the battle as the most important part of the story, and so you should “dress to impress,” to use a terribly hackneyed phrase. Use the most vivid, exciting descriptions possible to make the battle engaging for the reader, because it’s the last impression that you’re going to leave on them, and this battle fell a little short of expectations.

    Overall:

    I think if anything could’ve pushed you into the failing range, it would’ve been the short battle. However, since this is your first story, I have no problem saying Mareep captured! because it was fairly well-written from beginning to end. You’ve definitely got some talent, so just keep at it and you’ll improve. Welcome to the URPG, and I hope to see more writing out of you in the future.
    Last edited by Elrond 2.0; 16th April 2010 at 03:16 PM.

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